1901 Great Britain’s Queen Victoria died. (See January 2nd, February 10th, May 24th, and June 20th entries.)
1905 The “Bloody Sunday” massacre occurred in St. Petersburg, Russia.
1879 Zulu warriors won the battle of Isandlwana in South Africa.
Not too many people give their name to a whole era, but Great Britain’s Queen Victoria did. In a literal sense, the Victorian era ended on this day in 1901, when, after ruling the empire for six decades, Victoria Regina died. She personified a way of life, and the spirit of a civilization that believed in virtues like responsibility, dignity, and human obligation which we still call Victorian values.
A major turning point in history occurred on this date in 1905. The Russian Czar’s soldiers fired on a group of peaceful demonstrators in front of the St. Petersburg palace. They were gathered to plead for better living and working conditions. Not only were many killed; thousands more were arrested and sent to prison or to Siberian labor camps. If the Czar’s forces been less repressive and their actions less bloody at this event, there might not have been a Bolshevik revolution.
On this day in 1879, King Cetewayo and 20,000 Zulu warriors overwhelmed a well - trained British military regiment led by Lord Chelmsford at Isandlwana, South Africa. Only forty British soldiers managed to escape. In their push to expand the British empire from “Cairo to the Cape,” military and political leaders were unprepared for the strategic brilliance of guerrilla warfare that the spear and shield bearing Zulu warriors employed. The commissioned British troops were also not prepared to fight the courageous spirit and patriotic pride which King Cetewayo had instilled in his people. It took another twenty years before the British adopted the same strategy—but they never nurtured the same spirit.